Asphalt 7: Heat is the seventh installment in Gameloft's popular Asphalt series of driving games for Android. This version is incredibly polished, with lots of race modes set in beautifully-rendered courses across the world.
Lots of different game modes
The depth of Asphalt 7: Heat is very impressive. You can choose from career, quick play, or multiplayer modes. Within each of these modes there are lots of different ways to play, and gameplay variety is great.
Career mode in Asphalt 7: Heat sees you attempt to progress through a series of cup competitions. There are 13 cups to be unlocked in total, each consisting of four different races. There are different kinds of races within Asphalt 7: Heat, including Normal, Drift, Elimination, Beat 'Em All, Paint Job, and King of the Hill. The gameplay in each of these is different enough to keep your interest levels high.
Progress through the career mode in Asphalt 7: Heat is based around earning money and star points to level up and unlock cars and races. As is the norm with Gameloft games these days, you can purchase stars to 'fast-track' your progress in the game.
If you want a less structured game mode, try Quick Play, where you can enter any kind of race, in any location, racing with any of the vehicles that you've unlocked. Better still, enter the Multiplayer mode and you'll be able to battle it out against a friend over Bluetooth/WiFi, or take on up to five others online.
Take the keys and drive!
Playing Asphalt 7: Heat is a real delight, not least because of its fluid control system. The default control system is based around tilting your device to steer, tapping the left of the screen to brake and the right side to apply nitro. It works very well, but if you want to change the controls in Asphalt 7: Heat you can, and there are four systems to choose from.
Races in Asphalt 7: Heat are thrilling to say the least, and the inclusion of collectible items and insane nitros makes it all the more enjoyable. However, driving at high speeds through some of the more elaborate courses can provoke lag at times, and we experienced this a few times testing on the HTC Sensation.
Sleek graphics and sound
The range of vehicles you can unlock in Asphalt 7: Heat is impressive. Vehicles are tiered in seven sets of similarly-powered cars, ranging from the likes of the Mini and Range Rover in the first tier, to supercars such as the Ferrari FFX and Bugati Veyron in the upper tier. You can even race in the DeLorean from the Back to the Future movies!
Graphically, Asphalt 7: Heat is without doubt the best of the series so far, and the visuals are as good as anything on the Android platform to date, including Firemint's Real Racing 2. The cars look awesome, but it's the backdrops that really take your breath away in Asphalt 7: Heat. There are 15 different stunningly-recreated city and countryside courses set in a diverse range of locations including Hawaii, London, Havana, Tokyo, LA, The Alps, and Reykjavik.
The gold standard
Even with these minor flaws, Asphalt 7: Heat is up there with the best racing games for Android, thanks to its pristine graphics and huge gameplay.